Sacred Silence ~ Journal Entry #14

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October 8th, 2013

Journal Entry #14

Something is amiss. I account it to my out of control hormones as I continue to allow my grief for Zachariah to settle in. I can feel things, see things, and it frightens me beyond belief.

It’s if my soul is whispering softly to me, but I’m unwilling to listen…to turn an ear to see what it has to say. Perhaps I’ll know the meaning of its voice by the end of the week. Until then, I will sit quietly and wait.

Waiting is always the hardest part. While I waited to labor to give birth to my son, I felt my nerves unglue themselves and slowly drown within the pain. I knew what the unknown held for me, that although birth meant meeting my son, it always meant meeting death.

This time, I will try and wait more patiently. Patiently to upturn the earth of what is meant for Miles and I. Instead of facing the unknown with the fear of loss, I will face the unknown with an open heart and a willful spirit. A spirit who may or may not hold, that of another…

..Alana

Copyright 2013

Written and owned by Valerie King at http://www.valeriekingbooks.com

Sacred Silence ~ Journal Entry #12

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Journal Entry #12

September 26th, 2013

Had lunch with Mom today. Was refreshing to sit and chat over chicken salad sandwiches without talking about loss for once.

There was one fleeting moment when I caught the silhouette of a pregnant woman standing across the restaurant from us, her belly swollen as her left hand grasped that of a red haired little girl with curls cascading past her shoulders. I looked away quickly, swallowing the lump in my throat repeatedly to avoid finding tears. Not here; not in front of Mom.

Miles and I talked about work last night. At this point in our lives, he thinks I should stay home, or at the very least, find something part time. I’ve been pretty adamant about looking for a new job. I need to be occupied, to fully immerse myself in something other than staying at home. The silence drives me crazy.

A friend of mine sent me an email this morning regarding “Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day” that is honored and remembered each year on October 15th. You could submit the name of your child with a simple message. My fingers were frozen as they hovered over my keyboard as I wrestled with the notion whether or not to submit Zach’s name. After nearly 10 minutes, I hit “send”, my son’s information sent to an organization that would walk in honor of my son…my loss, and that of so many others.

Relief spread through me in that moment. I made a vow to walk for Zachariah on my own October 15th. I miss him with every single part of my being, but I was filled with love in knowing that there truly are people out there that understand my hurt and heartache. It’s easy to feel alone…that you are the only one around you that has lost a baby making you some sort of outcast. But, we’re not. I’m not. Neither are you. We are women, and we are no lesser of sorts because our arms are empty.

When someone offers you a kind word, or a hopeful voice that life will be okay…that your child won’t ever be forgotten…that changes your entire perspective on living as a mother. That’s one thing that has healed me greatly. I am still a mother. I will ALWAYS be a mother.

..Alana

Copyright 2013

Written and owned by Valerie King at http://www.valeriekingbooks.com

Sacred Silence ~ Journal Entry #11

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Journal Entry #11

September 24th, 2013

Today I awoke with a feeling a fullness. An unlikely emotion wrapped around my heart for the very first time in a long time. To be honest, since I lost my son. It was the first time in weeks that I awoke with dry eyes, and a calm spirit. This doesn’t mean the hurt is absent, it just means that I am finally coming to terms with the loss that has filtered itself into the darkest corners of my world.

Miles and I have been spending every evening talking, laughing, finding our love all over again…mending the brokenness that dared to end the love we have treasured for so many years. The weather here in Dallas has briskly changed to cooler temps and light breezes. Autumn doesn’t stick around for very long here in Texas, so for the past few nights we’ve sat on our back porch eating dinner and enjoying a glass or two of my favorite Chardonnay.

Last night, Miles grew quiet after laughing incessantly about a movie we have watched over a hundred times, but still find hilarious all over again each and every time. One of our favorite films, “Bruce Almighty”.

I watched his face grow pale, as he stabbed the final piece of grilled chicken on his plate, twirling his fork in his hands.

“Do you ever think about trying again?”

I found myself staring at him, my emotions ebbing and flowing as I summoned up the courage to answer. I knew exactly what he was asking, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it.

“I don’t know. Maybe. But not right now. I’m not ready. Are you?”

I watched as he shrugged his shoulders. I was honestly shocked. After losing his son, I felt like Miles was done. We had struggled so long with infertility, and then came Zachariah. Our happiness had turned to utter sorrow on a whim. The way he had dealt with Zach’s loss, I guess I had grown to believe that ever having another child was simply out of the question. We just weren’t meant to have children.

As I sit here writing this, I remember the touch of his hand enveloping mine from across the patio table last night, the sincere stare of utter love and unrequited want flowing from his eyes. It was obvious, more than obvious, that he wanted to try again. But then and now, I still didn’t know if motherhood was something I wanted to try and touch again. I had lost out on so many different levels.

So instead of deciding, I laid awake last night, my head tilted toward the ceiling and said a silent prayer, eyes closed, Miles snoring quietly beside me. What will be, will be…and I have peace with that, because I know that my little angel above is watching over me.

..Alana

Copyright 2013

Written and owned by Valerie King at http://www.valeriekingbooks.com

Sacred Silence ~ Journal Entry #10

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Journal Entry #10

September 19th, 2013

I found sleep hard to reach last night. So hard that I rolled out of bed, stumbled to the kitchen out of frustration, and poured myself a glass of white wine at 2:30 in the morning. Miles slept. I thought of waking him, but I decided to whittle at my haunting thoughts alone for a while.

We had made a promise, Miles and I. To come to each other whenever and however when sorrow enveloped us, and Zach’s memory arose leaving us torn and empty all over again. Miles had work to delve into five days a week though. I had my thoughts to keep me company. It’s hard redirecting my notions about life and the blows that it had bestowed upon me recently when the world moves on without you, but you refuse to step foot in the fast lane.

I wanted to start looking for a job; a new beginning to help support Miles and I, but to also keep me busy. I would never forget my precious Zach, but I realized I deserved to live. Live to remember him like he should be remembered, deserved to be remembered. To do so, I knew that I needed to walk away from the four walls surrounding me that begged to drown me in depression.

Guilt still loomed around me. The guilt of living and loving life when a life that I had created was no longer present, but absent.

I sipped two glasses of wine earlier this morning, finally reaching out to sleep three hours later only to find my dreams encompassing the face of the little boy I knew I’d never touch or feel in my arms again. Just when I think things are looking up, and acceptance has found its way into my heart, the claws of hurt pull it away.

Miles left for work before I ever awoke. When I finally rolled over onto my side, the couch cushions no longer comfortable and sunlight spilling through the slats of our living room blinds, I saw the white rose and the light blue envelope.

The card inside had a black and white image of a couple standing hand in hand, feet in the surf of the ocean, their backs facing us as their faces were warmed by the tropical sun. Inside was a note…so simple, so true, so gratifying I found myself smiling with the gravitating force of hope and irreplaceable love.

“My Alana,

Moments. We need them. Sometimes together, and sometimes alone. I missed you this morning, but there was no way I could awaken an angel whose soft snores reminded me that rest is what you need.

Know that I am here. I wrestle with my own demons too. Sometimes my dreams haunt me, and other times they remind me of what I’ve had, what I have, and what is to come. Don’t let life pull you too far away from the shore. Let me be your anchor sometimes. There are more times than I’d like to mention, that you have been mine. Even when words are absent.

See you tonight.

Love you,

M”

The spirit of Zach lives on. As I picture my husband’s eyes, I see our son. For now, that is more than enough.

..Alana

Copyright 2013

Written and owned by Valerie King at http://www.valeriekingbooks.com

Sacred Silence ~ Journal Entry #8

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Journal Entry #8

September 12th, 2013

Saturday the 14th is our seven year wedding anniversary.  Seven years celebrating the life we wove together as one, yet this year I feel farther from my husband than ever before. Becoming parents to Zach was supposed to change us for the better, to strengthen the bond even further. Instead it has pushed us a part.

I don’t feel normal. I feel broken. This morning I sat quietly in our home office, legs curled beneath me, a fleece throw around my frame even though it was eighty degrees just outside my window. Despite the temperature, I often feel chilled to the bone with despair. As I sipped my coffee slowly, my eyes fell upon a sparrow that landed on the windowsill, chirp loud and strong as it filled the quiet that consumed the house. Miles had already left for work long before I had ever willed myself out of bed.

Watching the tiny, magnificent feathered friend with wonder, I thought of what it might be like to fly. To spread my wings and become one with the wind. As my mind mirrored these reflections, I thought of how free it must feel to just “be”.

As I watched the tiny bird take flight, leaving me with a fleeting image of his presence, I continued to marvel at the simplicity of life. How delicate and freeing it really is. Life is not limitless. It is limited. We don’t have forever, we have only a few moments.

My eyes traced the platinum wedding band on my ring finger. I remember the moment Miles slipped it on my hand in front of three hundred guests as words of promise fell from his lips. It takes two to make a marriage work. It takes two to love and rediscover promises in happiness and in heartache.

I had taken flight with Miles nearly seven years ago. We had spread our wings and promised to fly together as one. With regret, I knew I had left his side and taken a different course on life, drifting across the breeze alone where I felt safe and secure in the memory of Zach. But life is not limitless. Life is limited.

Saturday is our seven year wedding anniversary. Who says we can’t find flight together again in a new direction. A direction of remembrance, but also rediscovery. I smiled at the thought this morning as I rose to my feet, flipping open my day planner and drawing a heart across the date 9/14/13.

I unleashed the gate of rediscovery in that moment. I took flight as a new woman, Zach’s face on my mind, and my heart in my husband’s hands. Loss had stolen me, but love could rekindle my spirit. I just had to remind myself how loved I truly was.

..Alana

Copyright 2013

Written and owned by Valerie King at http://www.valeriekingbooks.com

Sacred Silence – Journal Entry #7

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Journal Entry #7

September 10th, 2013

Twenty- seven days. Twenty-seven gut wrenching, soul stirring days since I gave birth and said goodbye in the same moment. What I felt, what I feel, I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. The hurt is hard. Harder than I ever expected.

I lost my father when I was fourteen to lung cancer. He didn’t even smoke, but he died a liberating death of a disease that tore my world apart at the seams.

When I say “liberating”, I mean it as such. When the Oncologist told my daddy that he had stage 4 lung cancer, he smiled. My daddy smiled at the doctor who had handed him a death sentence. He didn’t cry, ask for chemotherapy treatment, or vow to fight, he simply smiled and said aloud, “I’m ready when the Lord’s ready to take me. Life has been kind to me. It’s been VERY kind to me.” He nodded, leaning back in his chair, the rest of my family stunned as the eyes of his little girls and that of wife’s filled with tears of terror.

Three and half months later, my father died at home. My mother, my sisters, and myself surrounding his bed at a quarter after three that cold December morning, hands holding his, stroking his cheek as his final breath left his lungs. He had been unresponsive for nearly a week, hospice coming by the house several times a day to administer pain medication to keep him comfortable, but for a week I watched my father die. I watched his body fail, his spirit diminish, and as a young girl who was just learning how to cope with what the teenage years were like, I had to stand up and be strong. To be a woman of faith, when I felt like faith had failed me. My daddy faced death without an ounce of fear. I had to learn to do the same. I wanted to be like my daddy.

Now I’ve faced death again years later. Yet the loss of life is so very different this time. The taste in my mouth is one of  bitterness. My only son, the one I prayed for, longed for, taken away before he ever had a chance to experience the beauty of life.

Today I wrestle with what my daddy faced. Facing death without an ounce of fear. I’m fearful. Afraid to move forward without Zach. Afraid to live a happy life with the debilitating sorrow that fills me from head to toe.

I’m afraid for my marriage. Miles and I have distanced ourselves from one another. I miss my husband. Who we were a month ago. Time heals all wounds. This is what I hear, and what I’m trying to believe. In time, we’ll find one another again. I believe that. I have to believe that.

I quit my job today. My boss understood as well as my co-workers. Sometimes life demands a change, and where I stand now, I need to find change. I can’t return to the place where my nightmare as a mother began. Find that strange, weird, or cowardly, but I know what my heart needs. It needs change. It needs change for Zach’s memory.

I carry on. Today I planted a lavender bush in the backyard by our porch. I have always loved lavender. It smells amazing. It’s beautiful. It reminds me of my son. I can see him, smell him, touch him here. Little by little, I search for any remanent of hope. Little by little, I uncover it.

..Alana

Copyright 2013

Written and owned by Valerie King at http://www.valeriekingbooks.com

 

Sacred Silence ~ Journal Entry #6

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Journal Entry #6

September 5th, 2013

Three weeks. I hate this. I hate the way I feel, how I look, and the burden that I carry. This will never get easier. Never.

I spent the better part of today with my best friend Kate. We laughed, carried on and talked about life…the good, the bad and the ugly. Kate is pregnant. Three months along. She’s just beginning to show. That tiny bump; I remember that. The cross between looking bloated and looking pregnant. The time when your hand moves across your belly without even noticing. That’s what motherhood does; changes your motions naturally.

Was it hard being around her? Yes. But it was also helpful to view new life again from another angle. In the eyes of a lifelong friend.

I already know what she’s having. A boy. I can feel it. I told her so. She decided to tread lightly within the subject, but she also offered me a generous gift that I told her she didn’t owe. If she has a son, his middle name will be Zach.

Do you know what that means to this heart of mine? More than I could ever fathom. The life of my son living on through another. The outpouring of love and support as Miles and I tread through unimaginable grief, little things like this only encourage and encompass those words uttered by Nadine at the women’s shelter. “Healing brings hope. And hope helps you heal.”

Kate had handed me hope today. And one day, I would tell her. Today, I wanted to relish it on my own.

After writing this down, maybe “hate” was a strong word to use today. I think I’ll use “hope” instead. I do “hate” this, but I also have “hope” that Zach’s life will forever live on. Healing comes next. I vow to find it.

.. Alana

Copyright 2013

Written and owned by Valerie King at http://www.valeriekingbooks.com

Sacred Silence ~ Journal Entry #5

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Journal Entry #5

September 3rd, 2013

Miles and I had lunch today at our favorite deli. I felt peaceful and at ease for once until I saw a woman across the aisle from us nursing her newborn son, the back of his head laced with brown fuzz, his tiny hand nuzzled against the bosom of his mother’s breast. He looked just like Zach.

Miles had caught me staring. He turned to look at what had captured my attention. The lunch conversation we had been sharing grew silent. I finished my salad with two final bites, leaving my plate almost half full. Hunger fled.

He reached across the table as I fought back tears, lacing his fingers with mine. The intimacy was nice, but felt unusually strange all at once. My heart hurt in my chest. Literally, it felt painful with every beat.

“This is so damn hard.” That’s what I said above the loud voices of the lunch crowd, and I never cursed. Today, I had to say what I felt. The reality of where I saw myself. There was no other way around it, as we sat alone for another half an hour.

My husband was late for his afternoon meeting. I knew he was, but he sat with me anyway. I think he is finally letting his grief surface. Up until now, he ran from it. Yet as we sat, eyes focused on the grain of the dark wooden table for two, the warmth of his touch radiated his need to finally get close. To understand that our son was truly gone, but we still had each other.

For that, I am grateful.

.. Alana

Copyright 2013

Written and owned by Valerie King at http://www.valeriekingbooks.com

Sacred Silence ~ Journal Entry #4

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Journal Entry #4

August 29th, 2013

Two weeks. At times it seems so much longer than that. I finally willed myself to open the door of Zach’s nursery today for the first time since losing him.

Miles and I hadn’t done much, as we weren’t expecting him to arrive so soon. His closet was full of diapers, newborn clothes and receiving blankets though. I pulled them out, folding each little cotton suit with pristine care, placing them in a cardboard box. All but one. I kept the very first item I ever bought when I found out I was pregnant. A little tan onsie with a giraffe on the front and the words “I Am Loved” stitched beneath it. He is loved. He will always be loved. I tucked this little suit beneath my tank tops in my dresser drawer. When I needed to feel him, remember, I’d always know that it was there.

The rest of the items I took to a women’s shelter downtown after lunch, handing them over to a beautiful young woman, with smiling brown eyes and braided hair with olive skin that reminded me of my youth.

“This is so generous of you! Everything is brand new. And the diapers…we need these badly. Thank you.”

I nodded, unable to answer as the tears started to build. She reached over and touched my hand, my eyes rising to hers. She seemed to understand my story without a word ever uttered. I could see it swimming in those almond shaped eyes of hers. Apparently I hadn’t been the first mother to step foot inside these four walls with a box of “new”, and heart of “loss”.

She finally spoke. Nadine was her name. I’ll never forget it. “Healing brings hope. And hope helps you heal. Peace to you, love.”

I offered her a warm smile. She accepted.

As I sip on a cup of tea, that giraffe onsie in my lap, and a pen in my hand, I am doing my best to find hope. For I realize that I gave a speck of it today to Nadine without even realizing I had done so. And in return, she had given it back.

.. Alana

Copyright 2013

Written and owned by Valerie King at http://www.valeriekingbooks.com